Tire speed ratings

Why do tire vendors insist on selling me tires with higher speed ratings than I have any use for? The H/V/w tires are more expensive for equivalent tread life than standard (S/T) tires, but nobody will sell me a T-rated tire (good to 118 mph) for my Hyundai Azera, because the manufacturer, marketing the car as a high performance sport sedan rather than a family car, specified that it needed at least an H-rated tire (130 mph). Shouldn’t it be up to the owner to decide how fast he want’s to drive the car, particularly since the max speed for even the T-rated tire is illegal in (almost?) all US jurisdictions?
Sanity Check Please!

First, this has to do with lawyers. If a tire shop were to install a lower rated tire (and it could be a lower load rating as well as speed rating) than the vehicle manufacturer specifies, then the tire shop has legal liability if the tire fails. It doesn’t matter if the tire fails for some reason other than the speed rating (or the load rating), a lawyer can turn that into an expensive lawsuit for the tire shop.

So how is that possible? First you have to understand that in engineering, things are supposed to be over-designed, or in the case of parts, over-specified. So your tires SHOULD have higher ratings than the minimum - and the more over-specified the part is, the safer it is. Any competent attorney can turn that into valid argument.

A tire shop can not legally evade responsibility for installing under-rated tires. Signing waivers, etc, can’t change that because the courts recognize the tire shop as the expert in this exchange. The only way around this is for the consumer to bring unmounted wheels to the shop (that is, the vehicle specifications would be unknown to the shop) so the shop can claim they merely installed the tires on the wheels and not onto the vehicle.

If you want to change this, you need to change the law system. Many have tried, but the lawyer lobby has strong allies in the legislature.

While H rated tires can be a bit more expensive, I haven’t found the difference that large. And they do typically handle better than T/S rated tires.

What tire size does ur car use?